“The Brightest of All Possible Futures”
Student Participation: Singing, Listening
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The text for “The Brightest of All Possible Futures” will be available on this page. Check back for updates.
Composer Earl Maneein was commissioned by Carnegie Hall to write a piece for The Orchestra Rocks. He wanted to include the voices of students in his piece “The Brightest of All Possible Futures” as both performers and artistic contributors to the work. He invited Link Up students to write responses to some of the prompts below. Maneein then incorporated these written responses into the text that is performed in his piece.Students can respond to these two sets of questions through class discussion, free-writing, or other ways that their teachers may choose. The first set of questions is meant to serve as a foundation for the second set.
- Set One
- What is a problem or challenge that you’ve experienced in your life?
- How did that experience make you feel?
- What was a positive action you took to address the problem or challenge?
- Set Two
- What is a problem or challenge that the world is facing?
- How does that problem or challenge make you feel?
- What steps can we take to address the problem or challenge? What can each person do, and what can we all do together?
- What is the brightest future you can imagine? What does it look and feel like?
- Invite your students to explore these same questions. From their responses, as a group, select key lines or phrases that best express the thoughts and feelings that were shared.
- The text for “The Brightest of All Possible Futures” will be available on this page—check back for updates.
Compare the text of the piece to your students’ responses.
- Does the text of the piece express similar thoughts and feelings to the ones that you expressed?
- Why or why not?
Earl Maneein (b. 1976) is a violinist and composer whose artistic output stands at the unlikely crossroads of Western classical music, heavy metal, and hardcore punk. He is the founder of and main composer for the string quartet SEVEN)SUNS, a group that reflects this nexus of musical styles. Maneein’s unusual artistic voice is the result of his history playing and participating in the metal and hardcore scene, forming his first punk band at 14, and sometimes showing up to violin lessons with a black eye and a grin on his face. He has received commissions and performances of his music from soloist Rachel Barton Pine, the Phoenix Symphony, hardcore band The Dillinger Escape Plan, and The Dance Theater of Harlem, among others.
Photography by Elle Pérez